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Cocaine is a popular stimulant drug often found at bars and parties. Its effects make people feel more awake, confident and outgoing, but this can quickly change. Before you know it, even casual use can turn into a serious problem that quickly takes over your life. As addiction sets in, it becomes harder to break free from the grips of cocaine without treatment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction, Pathfinders Recovery Center can help. Our dedicated team of professionals and personalized rehab programs provide the support you need to navigate the challenging journey of recovery, so you can rebuild your life and take the first steps toward a healthier, more promising future.

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Cocaine is a powerful and addictive stimulant drug, derived from the leaves of the coca plant native to South America. It often appears as a delicate, white powder that is most often snorted or injected. If it is converted to crack cocaine, the drug can also be smoked.

When used, cocaine floods the brain with dopamine, creating a fast and powerful high that makes people feel more confident, sociable and energized. However, the high is fleeting and often triggers strong cravings for more, leading to frequent re-dosing and binging. The short-lived effects of cocaine come at a high cost, as it can quickly lead to addiction and take a toll on your mental health, relationships and overall well-being.

Cocaine is commonly known by the following street names:

  • Coke
  • Blow
  • Yayo
  • Girl
  • Nose candy
  • Snow
  • Crack, for the smokable form of cocaine
  • Hard (crack cocaine) & soft (powder cocaine)

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Cocaine and crack cocaine are two branches of the same tree. They stem from a common source, the coca plant, but have different chemical properties. Cocaine is a fine powder that occurs as a salt, cocaine hydrochloride, while crack cocaine has been converted into a base, typically by processing it with baking soda and water to remove the hydrochloride.

These differences affect the way that cocaine and crack cocaine are used. Powdered cocaine breaks down when heated due to a high melting point, making it better suited for snorting or injection. Crack cocaine, however, has a much lower melting point that allows it to be smoked, where it enters the bloodstream more quickly to produce a short but intense high.

Both forms of cocaine work the same way in the brain, but the rapid effects of smoking or injecting the drug can increase the risk of addiction. No matter how cocaine is used, seeking professional help is vital to heal from its damaging impact and achieve lasting recovery.


Cocaine is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States, and Arizona is no exception. Its proximity to the southern border means that cocaine and other drugs often pass through before being distributed to the rest of the country, increasing their availability and leading to a higher risk of substance use and addiction among Arizona’s residents.

According to data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 3.54% of adults between the ages of 18 and 25 reported using cocaine in the last year. American Addiction Centers also found in a recent study that Phoenix has the highest percentage of cocaine use in the country, with 23.3% of residents having tried the drug, followed closely by Mesa, Arizona, at 22.5%. Tucson also makes the top 10 list.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know the effect that substance use can have on communities, families and individuals. If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine, our evidence-based treatment programs and personalized care can provide the support you need to get sober and achieve lasting recovery. By making treatment accessible and available, our goal is to reduce the prevalence of cocaine use in Arizona and empower those struggling with cocaine addiction to find a path toward a healthier and more fulfilling life.


Cocaine is a stimulant that works directly on the central nervous system, but its pleasurable feelings are short-lived. After the high fades, many people continue to use the drug to avoid coming down, increasing the risk of harmful effects such as heart damage, anxiety, addiction and overdose. Over time, these consequences compound and take a toll on a user’s physical and mental well-being. Some signs of frequent cocaine use include:

  • Often seeming overly talkative or “jittery”
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent sniffling or nosebleeds
  • Nasal and sinus damage
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and other activities
  • Financial problems
  • Intense cravings
  • Evidence of drug paraphernalia (straws, razor blades, etc.)

Due to cocaine’s fast-acting effects and short duration, addiction can quickly develop with repeat use. If you or someone you love is exhibiting these signs, it’s time to seek help. Recovery is possible with the help of a treatment center like Pathfinders — we work to address your unique needs and empower you to lead a healthier, sober lifestyle.


Unlike drugs that are known for causing a strong physical dependence and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, cocaine and other stimulants are considered more mentally addictive. However, long-term cocaine use can impair functioning and lead to physiological changes that have a significant impact on the brain and body.

Some of the physical effects of cocaine addiction include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Enlargement of the heart muscle (hypertrophy)
  • Increased risk of stroke or heart attack
  • Appetite suppression
  • Stomach pain or nausea
  • Respiratory issues
  • Weakened immune system


What might be more challenging to conquer than the physical symptoms of cocaine addiction are the mental or psychological effects it can cause. Cocaine use disrupts the brain’s reward system and changes the way we experience pleasure, leading to intense cravings and feelings of anxiety, depression, mood swings or fatigue when trying to quit.

Some other psychological effects of cocaine addiction include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Poor judgment
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Drug cravings
  • Suicidal thoughts

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The development of cocaine addiction is a complex process influenced by the drug’s potent impact on the brain’s reward system. Understanding this progression can shed light on why some individuals may become quickly addicted even after just one use.

When cocaine is smoked, snorted or injected, it blocks the reuptake of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. This allows dopamine to build up in the brain, producing the feelings of euphoria, energy, sociability and confidence that the drug is known for. However, with repeat use, the brain adapts to cocaine’s effects and higher quantities are needed more frequently to achieve the same desired high. This cycle of reward-seeking becomes the basis of cocaine dependency and addiction.

It’s essential to recognize that the risk of addiction increases with prolonged and escalating cocaine use. The impact on an individual’s life can be profound, affecting their work, relationships, health and overall well-being. Fortunately, recovery is possible, and seeking professional help at a high-quality treatment center can make a significant difference in breaking free from the grip of cocaine use and building a healthier, more fulfilling future.


The dangers of cocaine use intensify when combined with other substances, especially alcohol. When cocaine and alcohol are both present in the bloodstream, a chemical reaction occurs in the liver that leads to the formation of cocaethylene, a psychoactive metabolite byproduct that is similar to cocaine. However, cocaethylene has a longer half-life and is removed from the body more slowly, increasing the duration of the high. As a result, combining cocaine and alcohol puts more strain on the cardiovascular system, increases liver toxicity and reinforces addictive behaviors. It also increases the risk of a deadly overdose.


At Pathfinders, we recognize that personalized care is the key to successful recovery from cocaine addiction. Our compassionate and dedicated professionals take the time to understand your unique needs, challenges and goals to provide tailored treatment plans that empower you to build the healthier, sober future you deserve. Our primary treatment options are flexible and include residential care, partial hospitalization programming (PHP), intensive outpatient programming (IOP), outpatient rehab and relapse prevention, allowing you to transition through each step of the recovery process as your needs change and evolve.

We also utilize a number of holistic and evidence-based methods to treat cocaine addiction and help you develop the coping skills you need to stay sober. From soothing the symptoms of withdrawal to learning new strategies for relapse prevention, we are there with you. Some of the therapeutic techniques we use in our treatment programs include:

  • Proven psychotherapies
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Group therapy
  • Holistic treatments
  • Full continuum of care
  • Support groups
  • Aftercare planning & support
  • Life skills development

Our experienced and dedicated team of medical doctors, therapists, and other experts strive to offer you the unique and personalized experience you deserve. We understand wholly that no two people walk through addiction and recovery the same, so our treatment plans are tailored to address your needs and give you the best possible chance at lasting recovery.


We understand that seeking help for cocaine addiction can be a significant step, and we want to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible. That’s why we offer free insurance verification services to help you understand your coverage and benefit options.

Verifying your insurance is simple and confidential. Our dedicated team will work with your insurance provider to determine the extent of your coverage for addiction treatment services. We’ll provide you with a clear understanding of any out-of-pocket costs or copayments so that there are no surprises along the way.

Don’t let uncertainty stand in the way of getting the help you need. To verify your insurance, complete our online insurance verification form or call us at 877-224-0761. Our team is ready to help you on your journey toward a healthier and happier life free from addiction.

Free Insurance Verification for Cocaine Rehab – Get Help Now



Much like the old adage says: there is genuinely no time like the present. If you’re ready to break free from the grip of cocaine addiction, we can help. Get back on track at Pathfinders Recovery Center and start working toward long-term sobriety with personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique needs. If you are ready to press your personal “reset” button and end your relationship with cocaine, here are your next steps to take:

  • Contact the Pathfinders Recovery Center team to chat about your needs with an addiction counselor. Reach us by calling 877-224-0761.
  • Complete the insurance verification form online — we will step in to help you coordinate your benefits.
  • Commit to a recovery program. Trust that we can help you achieve your goal of sobriety.

By choosing Pathfinders, you’re entrusting your wellness to professionals with over 25 years of experience in the field of addiction recovery. Get started today by calling us at 877-224-0761 or completing our online contact form.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

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